Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goodbye 2013 and hello 2014

I'd like to say that 2013 had been a great year for us, but while not we didn't suffer from terrible events and we are alive and well, its hard to say that our little farm had a great year.  I don't like to complain, everyday I remind myself how lucky we are, we are doing something we love and we live in a beautiful place and quite frankly there are people out there who are doing it really tough, so in the grand scheme of things we can't complain.

However, 2013 just wasn't our year...  We had a terrible summer, so hot and dry, broke many records etc etc.  It caused our goats to dry themselves off.  That in itself wasn't the end of the world as such, as we could have done more to prevent it, but you get comfortable in your situation, and you just assume its all going to keep on going as it was.  Hmmm....  So we contemplated our farm goals, what we wanted to do and we decided that we would buy a Jersey cow close to calving so we would be without milk for only a little while....  I have posted pictures of Buttercup the cow and I was looking forward to posting photos of her little calf, but it seems we were cheated and our cow wasn't in calf.  Which was very disappointing, not to mention a costly mistake.

So we decided we still had time to get the goats in-kid, but due to two diseases CAE and JD we needed bloodtests and the breeding season was nearly over by then, so I bought a buck, Chip.  He is lovely and I'm happy with him.

Chip - he is 3/4 Toggenburg (from really good bloodlines).
But then of all the things that could go wrong and all the assumptions I could make, I just wasn't prepared to lose my beautiful Dorka goat.  Our first doe, the one that changed our world, helped us to provide more of our needs than almost any other animal on our farm, the inspiration for the blog (there is a pic of her on the 'about this blog' tab).  She died, and I miss her so much.  Its been two months since she died, and the farm is empty without her, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her.  I think of all the animals here, Dorka for me symbolised all that we were working towards, our journey to self sufficiency.

Dorka the day we brought her home 4 years ago.  She wasn't friendly when we got her, but she settled into her routine (a little too much you could say) and we know she had a good life here.
And so there you go, we could rename 2013 as the year of no milk.  Hopefully 2014 will be the year of lots of milk as it just doesn't feel good having to buy it all the time.  There was a real sense of achievement in milking the goats everyday, and I really miss it.

I will also apologize for not updating this blog as much as I should.  Looking after a farm and a family is a pretty time consuming thing, and combined with our painfully slow internet connection (hence I haven't been posting many photos), it just doesn't seem to happen as much as I'd like to.  I like to think that I may do better this year, but who knows!!!

So best of luck for 2014, hope that whatever life throws at you, you can still make the most of it all and remain positive and keep trying for the future.  That's all we can do really.

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